Giving birth can be a magical experience but it also is a HUGE transition for both new mama + baby. Lots of changes to the body and hormone levels. Here are some of my favorite ways to support a new mom and her baby in the first 10 days of being home after giving birth ❤
AYURVEDIC RICE PUDDING: my sister -in-law lives up in the Teton Mountains and swears by this super nourishing rice pudding for mama’s body to replenish nutrients. It is specifically formulated to support the healing of mom’s body and great for helping with milk supply + nursing. The pudding aids digestion, has instantly accessible energy and builds blood. Serve all day, as often as you enjoy it, for the first few days after the birth. Check out this recipe here
THE 5 S’s: Master the 5 S’s!!! The Happiest Baby on the Block is a book written by Dr. Harvey Karp and is a method for helping your baby calm down, stop crying and go to sleep!! 5 S’s: Swaddle, Side-Stomach Position, Shush, Swing and Suck. This method mimics the sensations the baby experienced in the womb which trigger a reflex that keeps babies relaxed. This calming reflex is a virtual off-switch for crying and on-switch for sleep!! Getting your sweet babe to sleep and relax is super helpful! Aaron is a master swaddler. I was pretty good… but use the shushing and swinging motion too when your little one is not nursing so your boobs can get a break! Get to know the 5 S very well and make sure you or your partner can wrap a good swaddle!!
AROMATHERAPY: Diffusing relaxing oils at night + uplifting oils during the day: help mama stabilize her mood by supporting with aromatherapy. Essential oils have the unique ability to enact physiologic change in the body just by inhalation. It impacts the olfactory system with stimulates the hypothalmus to release hormones. I am obsessed with Young Living essential oils because they own their own farms + have strict purity guarantees! You don’t want any chemicals in your oils which unfortunately, are found in most amazon or store bought oils! Top picks for night: peace + calming, lavender, stress away or valor + Top picks for day: grapefruit, orange, citrus fresh, lemon or peppermint. Here’s a link to order your own oils!
ESSENTIAL OILS: I used my oils in so many ways during my first few weeks as a new mama. One way I LOVED using them is for a chemical free body lotion… I used coconut oil and Gentle Baby essential oil on my stomach to ease appearance of stretch marks + nourish and hydrate my skin! I also wore Gentle baby + lavender on my neck as a natural perfume which was super calming for me and baby. To this day whenever I smell either of these oils I get a flood of happy emotions from this special time as a new mom. Not to mention, whenever my kiddos smell this oil they immediately smile and get super snuggly! I would love to help you order your own Young Living oils here ❤
ABDOMINAL WRAPPING: after giving birth wear a wrap to help support your stomach muscles in contracting + healing. It is also very useful in alleviating lower back pain or pelvic floor issues as well as diastasis recti (a very common condition where the stomach muscles separate and there are specific exercise to do to get them back)! Check out this article for more information on when + how to wrap!
SKIN TO SKIN: closeness and bonding happens on so many levels… ensuring skin to skin contact with baby (and dad or partner too)! There are MANY benefits to both mom and baby from skin to skin contact including better sleep for the baby, better breastfeeding outcomes, better gut health + immunity for baby and lower stress levels for mama! According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology “new mothers who had six hours of skin-to-skin contact during the first week followed by at least two hours during the next month reported fewer depressive symptoms “. So how can you get lots of skin to skin with your babe? I wore a robe around my house for the first week or so when we came home for easy access to nursing on demand and plenty of skin to skin contact. I kept the baby in a diaper and swaddle so we were both able to get skin to skin easily. Aaron would be shirtless (wahoo!) around the house and hold her whenever I needed break.
PLACENTA PILLS: this may seem a little weird but it definitely helped me- I had my placenta dried and encapsulated into “placenta pills” to take after birth. The placenta is a magical organ that is grown specifically to nourish the growing fetus inside mama… there are many cultures who tout its nourishing capabilities. I took a pill or two whenever I felt like my mood was off or I just wanted some extra support!
NIPPLE CREAM: soothe those tired and overworked nipples between feedings with a high quality nipple cream! The key to saving your nipples is staying ahead of the game by taking time to soothe them between feedings. Breastmilk is an awesome way to soothe cracked nipples and I would always squeeze a little out and rub directly on the nipple… if I needed more support I used a brand called “Motherlove” it is a 100% certified organic herbal ointment that accelerates healing. It is rather expensive, but many mothers love this salve. You can use less and still heal quickly. It can also be used as a diaper cream too!
RED WINE: a glass of red wine is sometimes necessary!! Guys this is important! treat yourself! One glass of wine is totally fine while breastfeeding, the best time to have your wine is actually while you are nursing because it will have the longest amount of time to work through your system before the next nursing session (which can be 2-3 hours later). Red wine is one of my FAVORITE things and while pregnant I had an occasional glass whenever I felt like it… once baby is out you can go back to having your one glass a day as you want. Remember to hydrate with water because you want to keep your milk supply up : )
REST: sleep is so huge. lounge around, let other people cook and clean for you and sleep when your baby sleeps. This is an important time to let your body re-balance. Plan to rest for a month. If you are a first time mama see if your partner can take some extra time off or see if your mother or in-laws can stay. We had family come help us for 3 weeks with the birth of both our babies. It was SO nice to have someone cook, clean and take care of ME while I took care of the baby. Rest is so necessary and believe me, you will have plenty of time to “do it all” for the next 18 years of your kids life. Take these precious days + weeks to just sit and relax. I watched the entire 6 seasons of Mad Men in my first 2 weeks at home hahaha!! … just indulge and chill : )
One thought on “10 Ways to support mom + baby in the first 10 days”
another interesting read, Jess. Sending along to Julie. I may have to get a copy of Happiest Baby on the Block for some in-flight reading on my way over to Sweden.(Hope everyone is well!)